I have always found it hard to deal with feelings resulting from not liking a book I have chosen to read. If I finish a book I didn’t particularly enjoy the guilt that results stays with me for days. Having OCD has affected my confidence when it comes to critical reviews, because I second guess myself when I list points I did not like in a book. I’m never sure if what I find questionable is valid or a symptom of my diagnosed mental illness. Thus I tend to veer away from books with which I had an issue, but are these the books most worthy of discussion?
When someone strongly dislikes a book I have loved, I admit my default thoughts are what did I miss? Followed by what’s wrong with my taste in books? However, on reflection it would make better reading and a richer discussion to have a civilised point by point discussion on things we experienced differently in a book without the fault-finding blame culture that has become so prevalent on social media. Logically why should there be animosity because you dislike a book I liked?
I don’t feel it’s my role to necessarily convince you to like the books I have read. I see my book blogging as a way of putting a book I have enjoyed on the radar of other prolific readers. However, not necessarily for those readers to feel like I felt about the book. In my opinion discussion of what we felt differently about is far more interesting.
With so many books in any given genre, if we are to have a chance of reading the ones we will enjoy the most we do have to rely on recommendations. But whose recommendations? This is where a bit of blog reading comes in to find prolific readers who review books in our favourite genres. Then narrowing it down further to readers to those who have enjoyed books we have read in the past. The natural drive seems to be to find homogeneity, but doing so bypasses the opportunity to learn to discuss differences in opinion.
Is there an important place for critical reviews of books we have enjoyed less? Admittedly, I don’t like every book I read, but I don’t necessarily blog or review a book I don’t like. If I have read a book where I didn’t stop, and finished, but the book had a number of sticking points for me, am I missing out on an important experience when I don’t share what I didn’t like?
I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading a book, but if, in my opinion, it needed more work to be more enjoyable is this just a view I should keep to myself? Am I being disingenuous by omitting my two star and the majority of my three star reviews from my blog?